Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Editing… Its Necessity. Its Importance.
Books, books and more books. I did not know that I would get a chance to review so many of them, but I’d still like more…
The one thing I have noticed about a few books was the need to be edited. I have read quite a few of them, and the need for editing was very less, and the text, which made up the book, was the author’s own. Yet, I have also read books, in which I did not see too much editing, and needed it, desperately.
It is kind of strange when as a reader, I feel the need to tell the author that his book needs some work. Perhaps his own and sometimes the editor’s. Because that was the editor’s job. Editing it. It could be as simple as proofreading, and simple sentences which, need to be obviously changed but that seemed missing.
There is the gap between what the author has to do and what the editor has to. An author’s first job is to see that his book is totally error free, at least. It is not the editor’s job to see that, it is the author’s. As Amish Raj Mulmi, Hachette’s editor says, ‘Edit what you’ve written. Once you’ve written your ‘book’, edit everything.’
There are quite a few books I have read, (not just now, when I am reviewing, but also earlier, when I just read a book for fun) that could have done with an editor’s hand.
‘To me, the editing of fiction is an organic process, a back-and-forth exchange, in which both author and editor benefit from listening as well as speaking/writing. It becomes a building process, often deepening or enriching what already exists, in the best case making sublime what had been merely adequate, when an author is led to reimagine or create anew, rather than just make repairs ’ said Faith Sale, “Editing Fiction as an Act of Love.”
Collaboration is important here. There are a lot of editors who feel that the best of a book comes out when a healthy association is maintained with the author. ‘I enjoy working with words and engaging with a writer, coming to understand how her mind works and how she sees the ideas in the book,’ says HarperCollins editor, Ajitha GS.
At the end of the day, the editor’s job is to make the book better. Their job is to challenge the writer, so that the author gets his job done, and writes it brilliantly. The editor’s job will probably not get him the credit he deserves but as long as your book is appreciated and admired, his job is done. :)
If you edit it, or have it edited, you are working towards seeing it through. J RussellLynes once said, ‘No author dislikes to be edited as he dislikes not to be published.’